Here’s How a Massive Cyberattack Could Happen To Us You might think that the attacks on retailers or the current ransomware virus that is spreading throughout the net are small pennies. You may think that these attacks do not have the potential to cause any real harm. You may think that your money is protected …
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What are the odds of any of this actually happening? Probably low. But not zero, and also probably rising. National-security officials say obliquely that they have detected at least a couple significant efforts to cripple elements of the U.S. infrastructure system, without giving specifics. The Wall Street Journal has run several important stories on a series of mysterious attacks on electrical substations in California that left government officials deeply worried about the possibility of a “coordinated attack” on the grid that could darken whole cities or regions. And now, we’ve just seen the largest known effort to shut down the Internet. Maybe it’s nothing. But maybe it’s something.
This political point-making manifests in other ways. For example, an attack on the Ukrainian power grid late last year, according to Larsen, was carried out in an unnecessarily theatrical way.
“Anyone who has the skill to hack in has the skill to write a piece of code to open the breakers. Instead they let the operator watch as they clicked and opened all the breakers. They wanted the operators to sit there and freak out.”
From the victim’s perspective, the attribution is also political: in many cases it would be perfectly possible to pretend that no hack had happened. For example, infrastructure failure could just be blamed on an outage.
The agency’s goal would be to “embarrass” top Russian officials.
NBC News reports that the CIA is developing scenarios for an electronic attack on Russian leadership. According to sources including current government officials, the intent is to “embarrass” top Russian officials through “clandestine” and widespread hacking.
Experts have warned that cyber attacks on any number of systems, including satellites and nuclear power station, could result in a global catastrophe.
ENISA said that the exercise: ‘paints a very dark scenario inspired by events such as the blackout in an European Country over Christmas period and the dependence on technologies manufactured outside the jurisdiction of the European Union. ‘